Couples being forced to be together 24/7 during this difficult time will create stress for many because it will magnify what’s wrong in their marriage.
Those that understand their marriage won’t suffer and will find an opportunity during this unusual time. Sadly many will suffer and this can lead them to extreme decisions – a surge of divorces’ is predicted.
My question as I see so many recoveries from the edge of divorce is this: Is divorce the solution people think it will be?
It’s true for some couples divorce is the right decision, but for so many who do end up regretting their divorce, all they were missing was a better understanding of what they were not unaware of.
You see so many people were missing the real reason why they are disconnected and not understanding this only creates more suffering in the long run – for many they end up suffering all over again with someone new.
I remember one lady who came to see me she was 60 years of age and was just about to divorce her third husband.
She asked me why she kept getting to this point of disconnect? She also questioned if she should give up on love altogether.
I wasn’t happy for her to give up on love so I agreed to help her. What she was about to discover would change the way she thought about herself and her relationships forever.
She learnt that whilst her disconnect from her husband was on one level normal it was based on many limitations she wasn’t aware of.
Limitations that so many fall into without knowing.
I remember discussing these limitations with so many of my clients, one lady burst into tears “why don’t we know this?” One gentleman said, “we are both smart professionals we simply could see what was right in front of us”. A 71-year-old gentleman said “I’ve been married for 48 years. Of course, I knew my wife well but after discovering this I didn’t really know her as well as I thought.”
So below I’m going to share some thinking that’s helped many couples understand their disconnect in a way that helps them rebuild their trust in each other.
Common reasons why there are of so many unhappy couples?
Many couples get it wrong from day one: How did their attraction really happen?
What was he really looking for? What did she really need? Couples are creating an illusion they were on the same page because they were both happy. What so many are not understanding is what really created that attraction in each other’s minds.
This is why the work I do with pre-marital couples is so valuable. So many clients have told me the moment their children are going to marry they are buying that course as a wedding present.
So if the couple were unaware of their hidden disconnect, in the beginning, this will magnify problems that will appear later down the line. Lack of understanding of their critical roles is going to create resistance that lead many to stack resentment.
You see their roles will form the foundation of their attraction dynamic which is one of the keys to their success.
Far too many couples suffer because they have lost their attraction dynamic. They might experience loss of love, loss of passion, loss of any future, please know there is good reason for this and it doesn’t mean they should part.
The truth for many couples is they never consciously had an understanding of how their attraction happened, so keeping it consciously going would be difficult/impossible.
Natural chemistry creates our initial attraction, it’s natures way for us to procreate, but it doesn’t last and not knowing this is going to start to cause the couple problems.
Natures plan for our lives is very different from the romantic ideals we would like to experience.
Compound this lack of foundational understanding with the following.
Fundamentally men and women are totally different in the way they communicate and what they need when they are in an intimate relationship. This becomes most apparent when the couple enters conflict, but these differences were always there right from the start, just not easy to see.
Most don’t know that men and women communicate for totally different reasons and not understanding this will create more confusion, defensiveness, disconnect and loss of trust.
As individuals we are all driven by very different needs, what’s important and obvious to one person is not going to be obvious to another.
So understanding how your partners’ world works and is different to yours on all these levels is critical to the couple longterm success.
Couples could share similar values, but most will be driven by very different needs. This is important to know.
Sadly most people don’t know what they value themselves let alone understand and provide what their partner really needs.
Many couples are blind to these relationship-building concepts.
This means people are without knowing, adopting what I call success identities to deal with their lives. These are patterns of behaviour that works brilliantly in one part of their life but really doesn’t work in others.
For example: One lady, wife of a CEO told me she was sick of him coming home and delegating to her. She said to him “I’m not your bloody employee”
Neither person was consciously aware that the values that make a great CEO didn’t automatically make a great husband.
BUT unaware she was doing the same, she was using the identity of being a mum all day, unaware she had forgotten how to be his wife.
So lets put some of this together…
…they don’t understand their foundational roles, they don’t know what creates lasting attraction, they get lost communicating because they don’t know why the other is speaking so they either argue more or give up talking.
The result is they become disconnected – now add this next part into the mix.
They don’t know what their partner really needs, so their partner lives in an emotional deficit, they both struggle to articulate what they themselves value and why, so they struggle to be themselves when they are with their partner.
Struggling to become what they would say is important creates personal disconnect pain and suffering which without knowing they can attach to their relationship and their partner.
They slip into safe identities they know works (e.g. example above CEO & MUM) unaware they are both practising emotional disconnection until one person wakes up to something is seriously wrong.
And to make matters worse…
Many couples have not created an exciting purpose for being together that could help them see what they are about to lose.
Many couples live in some or all of these problems and it’s really not their fault and it’s not necessarily the truth about their marriage.
All these disconnects simply creates the worse versions of each person and this creates another illusion that we are incompatible. Every couple on the planet who is the worst of themselves when they are with each other is going to be incompatible.
Would any couple that slips into this way of being together run parallel lives, stay together unhappy for the kids, have affairs, constantly argue over nothing, or bury their heads in the sand hoping it will all work itself out because it always does until it doesn’t.
To be honest I’m surprised if couples don’t have serious problems because there is so much to learn and get right which is why for so many couples divorce is not the right solution.
The key is to find out what went wrong and to discover what it feels like to get it right.
One lady was convinced her husband had no empathy, so was incapable of loving her – the reality was he was thinking like a man and had no clue as to how her thinking was different to his. He thought he was doing a great job.
One gentleman discovered how to keep his wife emotional safe which allowed her to reconnect to herself whilst she was with him, this paved the way for her to feel safe to love him again.
Her suffering was in her inability to love her husband she didn’t know this. All she knew was she felt bad and attached that feeling to him. She didn’t know how to tell him what she needed and he would never have naturally known.
Rebuilding relationships takes patience and real understanding. The key to a couple’s success is to make what seems complicated into very simple consistent actions that will help the couple connect naturally.
The right strategy may not be obvious until you both understand what you are really dealing with.
When I’m working with couples I welcome the scepticism that a positive outcome is possible, what I’m looking for is enough curiosity to discover their truth so they can lead themselves and their family to real safety.
Longterm relationships are not natural they are based on skills, skills we are not taught growing up.
When couples struggle with each other it’s a sign a change is needed. For most the right change is gaining the knowledge that allows them to discover what they are truly capable of creating with the right knowledge.